Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rotiboy Inspired Mexican Coffee Bun

Hello everyone or should I say, anyone out there who's still reading my blog! My sincerest apologies for going MIA over the past 2 months.

If you've been wondering what has been happening in my life, this is a quick summary:

  • I left my job and headed back to Malaysia to spend some time with my folks. After being abroad for a decade, going home for a couple of months took some adjusting to, but I did enjoy being home and back to being my parents' little girl for a little bit.
  • I signed up for personal training and started weight lifting + clean eating. I've lost a total of 8kg to date and hopefully more to come. But I have to admit, every day I look forward to my cheat meal on the weekend as I am still as greedy as I was before, just a little more controlled. But I will share the details regarding this new lifestyle change in another post.
  • I also joined some bread-making classes with my favourite aunt who loves baking as much as I do and I can't wait to put the new knowledge that I've learnt to use.

Whilst I did have a good time away, I've also missed blogging so I am glad to be getting back to it.

Today I'm going to be sharing with you this amazing recipe for Rotiboy inspired Mexican coffee buns I learnt in one of the breadmaking class.

These Mexican coffee buns were really soft and fluffy as all buns should be; but paired with a deliciously fragrant coffee crisp crust... Mmmm, they were to die for! All the buns were devoured fresh out of the oven, that's how good they were.

So without further ado, here's the recipe:

Sweet Bun Dough
Makes approximately 14-15 medium sized buns

  • 500g bread flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 10g yeast
  • 4g salt
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • (+/-) 180 to 200ml water
  • 50g yogurt
  • 80g butter

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast, salt) in your mixing bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly.
  2. Gradually add in water and egg then knead using dough hook on medium speed for about 10-12 minutes until the dough come together.
  3. Slowly add in the yogurt and butter, then continue kneading till you get a shining and elastic dough. It should be able to stretch without breaking apart. 
  4. Place dough in a bowl that has been lightly oiled, then cover with a damp cloth. Leave to proof for about 40-50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface then punch down to release air.
  6. Divide dough into 50grams each, then roll and shape them into small round balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and keep them 2 inches apart. 
  7. Leave the ready bun to proof again for another 40-45 minutes, and remember to cover with a damp cloth to maintain moisture.
  8. While the dough is let to rest for their final proofing, prepare the topping as per recipe below. If you're done preparing the topping and the dough is not ready, feel free to refrigerate the topping. This topping can be kept refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen for a couple of weeks.
  9. About 15 minutes before your buns are done resting, preheat your oven to 180°C.

Mexican Coffee Topping
  • 200g butter
  • 160g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1-2 tsp coffee (could be adjusted for stronger flavour)

  1. Dissolve the instant coffee with 1 tbsp of hot water, it will turn into a paste. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer on low, beat the butter and icing sugar until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Add the coffee paste and vanilla extract and beat for 30 seconds until well incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour slowly and beat on low for 30 seconds and then on high for another minute or so until mixed well.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle (or if using a disposable piping bag like we did, you don't have to use a nozzle, just cut a small hole) and fill with the coffee mixture.
  7. Pipe the filling on top of each bun in a spiral circular pattern like so:
When you're done piping all the buns, pop them into the preheated oven and bake for around 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

I absolutely loved watching the coffee topping melt away in the oven!

At this point, the entire kitchen already started to smell so AMAZING, let alone after they were done!

Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. It is hard to resist them with such a fragrant aroma, but please do let them rest for just a couple of minutes for the topping to get a little more crisp then enjoy whilst the bun is still warm! ;)

Oh, they were so SO good. One is never enough! Just a little heads up, if you're serving them to a larger group, you might want to double the recipe. That's what I'll do next time I attempt this recipe again.

The original Rotiboy has a butter filling, but we omitted that. You may opt to fill 5-8g of cubed salted butter before shaping them into small round balls. Might do that next time when I feel like indulging in some buttery goodness.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you've got any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below.

Good luck! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Soft & Fluffy Pandan Pancakes

I've been hooked onto fresh pandan extract ever since returning to Malaysia. Well, let me tell you how it all started...

I was checking out the back of my garden one afternoon only to find such a humongous pandan plant.

I was so excited, I called out to my helper who then helped me snip away at those leaves.

As I am working with a mini blender, I cut them as small and thinly as I can. I like to make one huge batch (about 15-20 leaves) at a time and I just estimate 1 cup of snipped pandan leaves with 50ml of water.

Blend until finely blitzed then strain over fine sieve and store in jar.

This is how it looks on the first day. Leave it in the fridge for a couple of days to allow the chlorophyll to sink to the bottom.

Mine usually takes 2-3 days. See that thick green layer at the bottom of the jar? That's the concentrated pandan extract that you'd want to keep for this recipe!

You may also reserve the remaining bits of the extract for other recipes such as mantou's.

You can use the pandan extract for lots of different recipes; cakes, bread, buns or even fluffy pancakes. ;)

I've received a number of requests for the pandan pancake recipe since posting this shot of my pancake stack on Instagram, so here you go!

Pandan Pancakes
Recipe by The Bakeanista; yields 12 thick pancakes

  • 6 large eggs, separated 
  • 230g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml milk (you may try using coconut milk too)
  • 6 tbsp of concentrated natural pandan extract 
  • Pinch of sugar

  1. First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, milk and pandan extract to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter.
  3. Whisk the whites with the sugar until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the egg yolk batter – it is now ready to use.
  4. Heat a good non-stick pan on medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. When you start to notice bubbles, loosen pancake with a spatula and flip it over. Continue frying until both sides are golden.
  5. Stack the pancakes up, then top or layer with whatever tickles your fancy before digging in. ;)
I reckon caramelised banana and roasted desiccated coconut or coconut chips even would go really well with pandan. Finally, drizzle with a generous dash of maple syrup or gula Melaka syrup.

If you do not have access to pandan leaves to make your own extract, you may replace with the store-bought ones. Maybe start with 1 tsp of the Koepoe Koepoe pandan extract first, then add more for a more intense colour/flavour.

You could also use the concentrated extract to bake this fragrant pandan butter cake. Oh, the kitchen smelt so absolutely good as I took the cake, fresh and warm out of the oven. If you'd like to give it a go, I used this recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover. :)

As you can tell, I really love pandan a lot, and have blogged about it in the past as well. You can check out these other recipes if you're interested but note I used store bought pandan extract back then:

I just made another batch of pandan extract and I'm planning to make pandan bread next! I'll update you with how I go. Happy baking! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Matcha Hokkaido Milk Bread

I went through my blog and realised majority of the past few posts were all reviews on brunch places, so I thought I'd break it up a little and share this great recipe for Matcha Hokkaido Milk toast. :)

You all know by now how much I adore the Hokkaido Milk Toast recipe which I've made many times before. This time around I wanted to combine both of my two favourite things: Hokkaido milk toast + green tea, so I incorporated matcha and boy, the result was AMAZING!!

The kitchen smelt so so good when I took the bread fresh out of the oven. The bread not only smelt great, its texture was also to-die-for.

It was soft, milky and fluffy!! I was so so happy, I cut myself a thick slice, and enjoyed it plain on its own, with a cuppa homemade green tea latte, whilst beaming from ear to ear.

Bread-making to me, is very satisfying. Sure it is arduous, and yes there are a lot of steps and waiting period, but I can assure you it is all worthwhile in the end.

The Boyfriend came back from work and had 3 slices of bread, even after a heavy dinner and gave me the big thumbs up! I can't explain exactly how I felt, but it was a happy moment. :)

I am crediting the great texture of the bread to the use of tangzhong (water roux) method. I've used the tangzhong method numerous times and it always, always yields a good loaf of bread.

In terms of the matcha strength, it could definitely be a little more distinctive. I used 15 grams of matcha powder and loved that there was a delicate, but not overly subtle green tea flavour.

However, as I like my matcha strong, I will try 20 grams of matcha powder next time.

Kindly also note that the original recipe calls for bread flour, but as I ran out of bread flour, I improvised and used Lillian's recipe where she has substituted bread for plain flour instead.

To my surprise though, I did find the bread this round using plain flour to be a little softer than usual. I guess I won't bother going out of my way to get bread flour next time.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did! :)

Matcha Hokkaido Milk Bread
Recipe adapted from Sweets by Sillianah & modified by The Bakeanista

  • 350 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk, slightly warmed
  • 120 grams tangzhong (see below for recipe)
  • 2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 42g butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp matcha powder (depending on strength you prefer)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Method using breadmaker
  1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (egg, milk, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, matcha powder, yeast).
  2. Select the "dough" mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme).
  3. When all ingredients come together, add in the butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes.
  4. Let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
  5. Punch and deflate dough, then remove dough from bowl and shape into a ball. As this recipe makes two loafs, divide into six equal portion. Knead into balls and let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (see picture 2 below).
  7. Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press (see pict 3). Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press (see pict 4).
  8. Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch in length (see picture 5). With seal upward, roll into a cylinder (see picture 6).
  9. With seal facing down (see picture 7), place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing (see picture 8), until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
  10. Brush whisked egg wash on surface. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 30 to 35 minutes, until top of bread is shiny and golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Photo Credit to Christine's Recipes

    How to make tangzhong?

    Ingredients of tangzhong (amount enough to make two loaves):
    • 47g plain flour
    • 1 cup water

    Method of making tangzhong:

    Photo Credit to Christine's Recipes
    1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
    2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong.
    3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool (I always let it chill in the refrigerator).
    4. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need.
    5. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard.
    6. Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients.
    There's so much you can do with this Hokkaido Milk toast recipe! I made a milk and chocolate version as well, just by substituting the matcha with either milk powder or cocoa powder.

    Then I played around swirling the few flavours together:
    • Matcha and chocolate
    • Chocolate and milk
    • Milk and matcha

    The flavours went really well together, and the bread were as usual soft and fluffy. 

    I simply love the beautiful mix of colours, particularly this tri-flavoured swirl Hokkaido loaf. It was also ultra delicious! :)

    If you love soft bread, and enjoy bread making, I definitely recommend you give this recipe a go.

    Good luck, and let me know if you've got any questions!! Whilst I ain't no bread expert, I will try to help you as best as I can. :)
    Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)